“On the 2nd February, 2021, Mr. Phillip Edward Alexander made a Facebook live video post entitled ‘A Time For Mourning’ wherein he made a statement suggesting that Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Brian Manning, is a chronic gambler.”
The Member of Parliament for San Fernando East, issued the following statement this afternoon, where he said Alexander was served with a Pre-Action Protocol Letter.
However, through extensive negotiations, Minister Manning said “between parties and their legal representatives, Alexander posted a public apology and undertaking on his Facebook page on the 22nd March, 2021 and has since removed the original post. Further, Alexander agreed to pay Manning’s legal costs.”
See statement below –
Consequently, Mr. Alexander was served with a Pre-Action Protocol Letter by Manning’s Attorney Mr. Rondell Donawa who instructs Mr. Michael Quamina as Counsel for Defamation of Character.
Mr. Manning categorically denies visiting and/or entering and/or gambling in a casino in his lifetime. Mr. Alexander’s statements were erroneous, malicious and intended to injure the reputation of Mr. Manning as an upstanding Government official and finance professional.
In an effort to avoid long and costly litigation proceedings in the High Court, Mr. Manning, through his Attorneys offered a sensible alternative in settling the matter by –
1) Mr. Alexander offering an unqualified public apology and retraction of the allegations made by broadcasting in the same medium (social media platforms) as the original post was made.
2) Removal of the offending post on all social media platforms.
3) An undertaking in writing not to repeat the defamatory statements or any similar statements
towards Mr. Manning
4) Payment of costs to be agreed.
“It must be underscored that Mr. Manning supports the right of freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. However, said expression must be factual and with good merit. Mr. Manning understands that all public officials are subjected to scrutiny but will defend his name against malicious falsehoods that have been in the public domain.”